Sounding Off Sirens: Q + A with Gorgon City

By SANNI YOUBOTY
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One good song and one good set at a time, Kye Gibbon and Matt Robson-Scott are steadily ascending upon the international music scene as the UK pop-house production team, Gorgon City. “Ready For Your Love” with MNEK and “Real” with Yasmin are only a couple of their tracks to dominate dance floors and score spins since the duo’s start in 2012. Their latest release, Sirens, is an alluring collection of cuts that will leave you bobbing your head with serious fervor or a slow groove, depending on which one is seducing you. This fall, Gorgon City embarks on their first headlining tour, and are planning even more sounds and sets for next year. We caught up with Kye to hear more:

LA CANVAS: Congrats on the debut of your new album Sirens, how does it feel? 

KYE GIBBON: It feels amazing, as it’s been a long time coming. We’re happy that everyone can hear it now, and we’re pretty happy with the feedback.

LAC: So then it’s time to celebrate! Which are you going for, a beer or vacation right now?

KG: I wish! No time to rest. We have lots of radio and promo and gigs scheduled. I think we’ll celebrate when we’re back in the US for the tour.

LAC: You’re from the UK, and grew up making music for fun. How did you get your start, and when did you know you wanted to do this as a profession?

KG: My first experience with music was through my parents, they were big music fans and played music often in the house. Around 13, I got into Jungle and Drum & Bass music. I started becoming fascinated with how to make music like that. I never studied music in school though, and I didn’t really know then that music could be a real job. I got to college but later dropped out because all my time there was spent on making music. I had to go back home and get an office job, but then I dived into making music even more. Things kicked off professionally when I sent some of my music to a few DJs that I knew.

LAC: You both had your own individual careers going, why the team up? 

KG: Us becoming a group was never really a plan. It just kind of happened. I started my solo project 6 years ago and only wanted to do underground club music. I met Matt 3 years ago, we were on the same DJ agency. We played a few gigs on the same bill and became fans of each other’s work. Working solo, sometimes you get a creative block but as two, ideas can get going much quicker. Our collab with Yasmin was when it all started to cross over for us. It was really special, and we just knew that we had something. We started getting daytime radio airplay, then we had our follow up with MNEK and things really went crazy.

LAC: Gorgon City has proven ahead of the curve in working with other amazing breaking through talent, like Kiesza, Erik Hassle, and Clean Bandit. What are some newer names that people should be on the lookout for in 2015?

KG: Definitely MNEK! He’s been making music since he was 14 and he’s so talented. Another is Jess Glynne, we just produced some music for her.

LAC: It’s interesting though, having major label backing, why wouldn’t you just bust out big names like Katy Perry or Drake or an act on that tier as your features?

KG: We do prefer to keep things home grown when it comes to working with other people, as we come from an underground background. At the same time, we’ve also enjoyed working with people like Katy B, who’s both underground but still mainstream. We like working with people as long as they have a unique sound and their own vibe.

LAC: Speaking of features, you never sing on your own tracks. Why?

KG: Have you heard my voice? Maybe on the next album. I think we’ve gotten to the point where we can make just about anyone sound good, even ourselves (laughs).

LAC: House, Jungle and Garage music are burgeoning back on an international level right now, and the UK is really leading the way in these scenes. What do you think is driving this wave?

KG: British music right now does have references of old House and Garage, which has soul in them. EDM may be popular in the US and around the world too, but it has lost some soul. I think people are looking for soul in music again, and they’re looking to the UK for that.

LAC: There are so many of Brits in LA, either working on music or in other creative industries. Do you feel there is a connect between Los Angeles and London?

KG: I love being in LA. When you’re there, you can feel the energy and it also feels like anything can happen. Plus, LA weather is great! I love the positive-ness too, and that people are really friendly. Seriously, I was in a restaurant the last time and the waitress starts talking to me, like really talking to me and interested in what I was saying. I ask her what’s on the menu and she goes in with every detail. In London, that would never happen, people aren’t really as friendly.

LAC: Having spent a good amount of time here, what’s the first thing you plan to eat, do, and buy when you’re back in LA?

KG: I love burritos and Mexican food, so I’m going to eat a lot of that. It’s awesome that the exchange rate is so good for us too. It’s around my birthday so I’m going to buy myself something nice, and probably do some partying. We haven’t had a proper album party yet.

LAC: You’re both recognized as incredible DJs and producers, now Gorgon City is heading out on the road. What will your live show be like for this fall tour?

KG: It’s our first headline tour, and it’s a DJ set tour. We’ll be bringing out some extra elements though, like visual effects and lighting. Early next year, we’re planning for more of a live performance. This run, we’ll have different openers joining us, like our friend Henry Krinkle, and some other Brits. We’re gonna turn up to tea, Prince Harry, and bad weather (laughs).

LAC: Take us through a studio session with Gorgon City, what’s your process like?

KG: It’s a relaxed atmosphere, and spontaneous. We won’t have anything decided for the collaboration, maybe just a bar or loop if so. We like to let the singer or writer feel the vibe. From there, we build the drums from scratch and then continue on with other elements.

LAC: Share an experience that really stands out for you while recording this album.

KG: Working with Maverick on the last track “Hard On Me” was so special. It’s such an inspiring and uplifting, deeper down tempo track. He had ideas, and this amazing story to tell. You can really listen to every word, it’s honest and heartfelt. We did it in one take, and we all were in awe! This song is definitely one of my favorites.

LAC: 2 major themes are apparent in the content of your music: sadness and inspiration. Is this deliberate?

KG: That’s true. We do like the contrast between happy and sad, bitter and sweet. The album is half positive and about love, then it gets messy at the end… the 6 AM, break up, drunk, wake up with regret kind of messy (laughs). Like with “Unmissable,” the idea is making the most of this moment in life, but because the world could end at anytime. Therefore, so it’s sad too. That contrast is important, which is true of life. Nothing’s always rosy.

LAC: What else are you wanting people to take away from this album?

KG: We’re really just hoping that they enjoy it, and that the songs mean something to people. Hopefully, it also comes across that we have our own sound. We want people come see us live too, it’s a big part of what we do.

LA, make this one unmissable! For sights, catch Gorgon City at the El Rey on Saturday 10/25. For sounds, their new album Sirens is available here.

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